Soweto Derby postponed out of respect for Meyiwa

The football star was shot last night at his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo's Vosloorus home on the East Rand.

Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - The Premier Soccer League has confirmed that this weekend's Soweto Derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs has been postponed following the passing of Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa.

The 27-year-old football star was shot in the back last night at his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo's Vosloorus home on the East Rand, apparently while trying to protect the singer from armed robbers.

He was rushed to the Botshelong Hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival.

No arrests have yet been made, but police have launched a massive manhunt for the three suspects.

It's understood Khumalo is now being given trauma counselling.

Earlier on, National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega announced a special task team has been set up to investigate Meyiwa's murder.

At the same time, Proteas cricket captain AB de Villiers and Springbok captain Jean de Villiers have both expressed their shock.

De Villiers told EWN Sport that his and his team's thoughts are with the Meyiwa family.

Meyiwa was expected to be in goal for Pirates during the game but the league's Brand de Villiers has announced that following his murder, the game will now no longer go ahead.

"We have decided to postpone the match for Saturday. We will soon be following with details. But the match won't be happening out of respect for Senzo."

Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba says Meyiwa's performance as captain was a reflection of the person he was.

"We called him one day and we sat with him and said 'We are sure you know all the responsibilities of being captain, all we ask of you is to be the league between the team and the technical stuff.' Since that day, since he started, this team has never had problems."

Orlando Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza says the club can take heart in him being rewarded for his talents while he was alive.

"I must commend Mashaba for seeing something in Senzo that he departed having been recognised by this country. We never see how great someone is until someone from the outside reminds us how great they are."

The South African Football Association says Bafana's next 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches against Sudan will be played in tribute to Meyiwa.